Witness’ death won’t weaken case vs ex-gov, says DOJ chief

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Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Friday said the death of the alleged lookout in the hit team that murdered Palawan environmentalist-broadcaster Gerardo “Doc Gerry” Ortega would not affect the case that the government is pursuing against the culprits.

De Lima told reporters that the testimony offered by Dennis Aranas, who reportedly committed suicide on Wednesday at the Quezon provincial jail in Lucena City, was rejected by the government’s Witness Protection Program (WPP).

She said that while Aranas was provisionally admitted to the WPP when the case was still under evaluation, his regular admission was not approved.

“There was a certification on nonmateriality by the handling prosecutors. This means it was certified that his testimony was immaterial. We have requisites to comply with [so] he was not covered,” she said.

Former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes and his brother, Coron Mayor Mario Reyes, were earlier charged for the January 2011 murder case. Both have denied the charges and have fled the country.

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UWXUQZQDNSRTVWMFCUHAYA7OOA John

    The Reyes brothers are now in Sabah facing cases of fake passport and are now serving prison for 4 years (living out prisoners)and their lawyer is also the lawyer of Amalilio. Sunugin ang bahay nila sa makati

  • bogli_anakdami

    did anybody check if aranas is really dead?… pinulsuhan ba sya?… dapat dinala doon sa st luke’s to confirm his death…

    yun lang

  • ApoLapullapu

    Has the Court issued a Warrant of Arrest against the accused?

  • regd

    The guy is probably alive. He’s under the WPP. He assumes a different identity. Hence what is dead is his old identity.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PJTH3SHQU3B4TCUVRH2UXZCJDY Balahura

    Why? How come a case can prosper without a witness madam butterfly? Show off please that you are not tolerating a criminal client of yours…..( you are the former election lawyer of the fugitive EX Palawan gov. though! commonly known infamously as JTR ! )

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PJTH3SHQU3B4TCUVRH2UXZCJDY Balahura

    PNOY show off that you are not in anyway related to this Family (Reyes), I’ve heard rumors that you are a kin to this family that is why you are so quiet about the Ortega case…. Is this true? Election is coming now many are reading this article and will not vote for the party that you will carry so please be nice to your party….

  • D_BystandeR

    If the reason why prosecution lawyer of DOJ is responsible for the rejection of Witness Protection Program for Denis Aranas, the “lookout” in that case, being that his testimony was considered non-material to the case, if the case is weakened because of his death then the lady DOJ prosecutor responsible for the applicant’s rejection should be made answerable. Without her recommendation Aranas would still have been alive today!

  • gin bulag

    tao din yang namatay. hindi aso. sa comment niyo parang balewala siya.wlang halaga. ayaw niyo nang pag aksayahan ng panahon para malaman kung pinatay siya.kawawang Pilipinas.

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